Brian Blessed Gets Behind Campaign To Ban Wild Animal Circuses

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February 20, 2015

Brian Blessed: Profile

As the political saga surrounding the promised ban on wild animals in circuses in the UK continues, legendary actor Brian Blessed has urged the government to “end this circus madness” and finally legislate to ban such acts.

The ‘Flash Gordon’ star’s call for action comes as Animal Defenders International (ADI) reveals that the only and much criticised lion and tiger circus act will not be touring Britain this year.

Brian Blessed said “I am deeply opposed to the use of wild animals in circuses and have been working with Animal Defenders International to oppose such acts for many years. Despite repeated promises from the Government, we are still waiting for the law to pass and the animals are continuing to suffer. Please end this circus madness.”

Brian Blessed is among a string of high profile supporters of ADI’s campaign to ‘Stop Circus Suffering’ in Britain which includes Ricky Gervais, Sir Roger Moore, Brian May,Moby, Imelda Staunton, Eddie Izzard, Twiggy, Annette Crosbie, Sir Paul McCartneyand Dame Judi Dench.

Back in 2011, Brian Blessed made a similar plea following ADI’s shocking exposérevealing the terrible abuse inflicted on Anne, Britain’s last circus elephant. The actor joined the organisation and a delegation of MPs to present a letter to the Prime Minister calling for a ban. At the time Blessed stated, “now is the time for the government to legislate and put a stop, once and for all, to the draconian and humiliating spectacle of wild animals in circuses.”

As a result of changing attitudes and greater awareness of how circus animals are kept, trained and treated following investigations by organisations such as ADI, just two circuses in Britain currently tour with wild animals.

ADI can reveal that Thomas Chipperfield, a relative of the notorious Mary Chipperfield who was prosecuted for animal cruelty following an ADI investigation, who presents the only lion and tiger circus act in Britain, will not be touring with a circus this year. The act featured in Peter Jolly’s Circus last year, attracting widespread criticism and local protests.

Whilst in the circus and at their present overwintering location in Scotland, ADIdocumented how Chipperfield’s lions and tigers exhibited abnormal repetitive behaviour – not seen in the wild but commonly observed in circuses – indicating compromised welfare. Seeing the footage, vets Marc Abraham and Simon Adams said “Big cats are never meant to live like this” and “the limited space available in a travelling circus is unsuitable to big cats”. Although the animals will not be touring, they will likely remain in their temporary, confined living quarters.

ADI President Jan Creamer said, “While the government fails to take action, the suffering of wild animals in circuses will continue and it must take full responsibility. It is time to pass the ban that has long been promised to the public and the animals.”

Little progress has been made since the Government announced it would ban the use of wild animals in circuses in 2012, leading Jim Fitzpatrick MP to introduce a bill. Despite having cross-party support, Christchurch MP Christopher Chope has blocked the backbench bill on seven occasions. The bill will have its next second reading on Friday 27 February.

Whilst Britain stalls on progressing the ban, 30 countries have introduced laws prohibiting animals in circuses. ADI is working with authorities to rescue animals from circuses following wild animal circus bans in Peru and Colombia, and is currently caring for 30 lions and over 20 other animals. The organisation is seeking donations to complete its groundbreaking rescue mission ‘Operation Spirit of Freedom’.

News Link:https://www.looktothestars.org/news/13286-brian-blessed-gets-behind-campaign-to-ban-wild-animal-circuses

Alexei Sayle Tells Government To Get A Move On Over Circus Ban Farce

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Comedian Alexei Sayle has joined Animal Defenders International (ADI) in calling for action on wild animal circuses, urging Government “to get a move on” and “bring their own bill in” as a backbench bill to bring in the ban promised, but sat upon by Government, faces its tenth attempt to pass to committee stage.

Incredibly, it is Conservative back benchers who have blocked this bill to pass their Government’s own legislation nine times.

Opposition to the use of wild animals in circuses is overwhelming, with support for the ban uniting Parliament and the public alike. Legislation has now been pledged by Government for three years, with the promised ban due to come into force at the end of this year. ADI is urging David Cameron to keep his word and progress the law.

ADI President Jan Creamer said, “The Government made a clear promise to act on this issue yet three years on we are still waiting for the law to pass. The public and Parliament do not want to see wild animals continuing to suffer in British circuses. David Cameron must keep his word and bring in the ban without delay.”

Social justice campaigner Peter Tatchell joined Alexei Sayle in the plea for action stating he hoped David Cameron “will stop his foot-dragging and bring forward legislation to ensure there are no more wild animals in circuses in Britain” alongside X Factor boyband Fifth Street who said that the ban would “keep the public happy and keep the animals happy.”

Angela Eagle MP today attempted to progress the ban by asking William Hague, Leader of the House of Commons, if the Government would give the Circus Bill time for a Second Reading. He responded: “I certainly support that Bill and the Government supports that Bill. I think it would be wrong for the Government to pick bills out of the Private Members’ process and give them Government time… the Bill will have to take it’s normal chances.”

This seems extraordinary double-speak since the bill was promised by the Government over two years ago and is only in the Private Members’ process because the Government has not given it time.

The issue has become an embarrassing Parliamentary saga. The proposed ban on wild animals in circuses was announced by the Government in 2012, although a ban was promised to Parliament as long ago as 2006. In 2010 a Government Public Consultation saw over 90% of respondents calling for a ban and in 2011, backbench bench MPs voted unanimously for the Government to introduce a ban.

The Private Member’s Bill introduced by Jim Fitzpatrick MP is identical to the Government’s own Bill that was unveiled to media fanfare but has simply gathered dust. Unfortunately, an objection from just one MP prevents it from progressing, and tomorrow eyes will be on Tory MP for Christchurch, Christopher Chope, who has blocked the bill on six occasions.

Wales is committed to a ban and is seeking to be included in England’s legislation, but whilst efforts to ban wild animals in circuses are stalling, 30 nations around the world have acted. ADI is currently assisting the Peruvian Government enforce a ban and have 21 lions in their care removed from circuses.

ADI’s campaign to stop circus suffering in Britain is supported by politicians of all parties, leading animal protection groups and celebrities including Ricky Gervais, Dame Judi Dench, Brian Blessed, Twiggy, Eddie Izzard and Sir Roger Moore.

ADI has vowed not to let the matter drop and the backbench bill will have another second reading on Friday 27 February.

News Link:-https://www.looktothestars.org/news/13155-alexei-sayle-tells-government-to-get-a-move-on-over-circus-ban-farce

Law to ban wild animals in UK circuses being blocked by three Tory MPs

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“Seriously, these idiots blocking the ban need to go undercover to see the real truth! What elephant in the wild would stand on its head or lion jump through fire…FFS…Watch the video below…if you love your pets, would you let them be treated this way??? There is no difference, all animals are sentient, they feel most emotions humans do; yet they are treated like inanimate objects. their only use is to perform for entertainment, to earn money for their captors!!”

By  Friday 5 December 2014

UK lags behind Bolivia and Bosnia in banning the use of wild animals, such as lions, tigers, zebras and camels, in travelling circuses

‘The days of transporting wild animals in the back of lorries around towns and cities to show them off to people are long gone … Britain should join the 21st century.’ Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

A new law to ban the use of wild animals in circuses is being repeatedly blocked by a trio of Tory backbenchers, despite the personal support of David Cameron, the government, Labour and over 90% of the British public.

The bill was blocked for the seventh time on Friday afternoon, a move its supporters called a “travesty” and an “outrage”. Dozens of lions, tigers, zebras and camels are still used in travelling circuses and in 2012 the government pledged to outlaw what Cameron called the “outdated practice”. But despitepublishing the draft law in 2013, it has since failed to pass it.

Former environment minister Jim Fitzpatrick, a Labour MP, took the government’s bill and presented it as a private members bill, with support from MPs from all main parties. But it has been repeatedly blocked by circus-supporter Andrew Rosindell, along with Christopher Chope and Philip Davies, all Conservative MPs.

“It is very much a matter of a tiny number of Tory backwoodsmen preventing this from happening,” Fitzpatrick told the Guardian. “It is frustrating, but we are keeping the issue alive – it won’t go away.”

“The days of transporting wild animals in the back of lorries around towns and cities to show them off to people are long gone,” he said, noting that many nations, from Bosnia to Bolivia, already have bans and that safari parks and zoos provided alternatives. “We think Britain should join the 21st century.”

“For those that think animals are trained with loving hands…WATCH THIS…then tell me; do you really think they enjoy this life????

 Irrespective of  when this undercover video was taken, the principles for any animals still in circuses are the same; fear. neglect, torment & ridicule!!”

(Uploaded on 8 Dec 2008

The Truth About The Treatment of Animals In Circuses Filmed by Animal Defenders International, this video lifts the lid on the use and abuse of animals in entertainment. • the violence used to train and control the animals • the small cages, temporary pens, and chains the animals live and die in • the long journeys • the unnatural conditions • the animals driven out of their minds by boredom and deprivation)

“It is a travesty that the actions of just three MPs are preventing legislation to end animal suffering from being passed,” said Jan Creamer, president of Animal Defenders International. In April, Cameron told ADI: “Yes, we are going to do it.”

A spokeswoman for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said the government bill would be passed “when parliamentary time allows”. However, the current parliamentary programme has the smallest number of bills for 20 years. Fitzpatrick said there clearly was time and he had “no idea” why ministers will not fulfil their pledge.

The British Veterinary Association backs the ban, stating: “The welfare needs of wild animals cannot be met within a travelling circus, in terms of housing or being able to express normal behaviour.” The RSPCA said: “Cramped and bare temporary housing, forced training and performance, loud noises and crowds of people are often unavoidable realities for the animals.”

But Rosindell, who has blocked the bill twice said: “The circus is a Great British institution, which has proved that it has the high standards of welfare which are rightly expected of it, and I strongly believe that it deserves to be defended against the propaganda and exaggerations.”

He added: “None have been taken from their natural habitat; all are from several generations of animals born in captivity. I believe it would be much more cruel to remove them from the life they have always known in living and performing with their loving owners in the environment they are accustomed to.”

Creamer said: “By blocking the bill they are defying not only the wishes of their own party and their constituents, but also the British public and Parliament. There is also clearly time to pass a ban and the government needs to act now.” A 2010 government consultation found 94% of the British public supported a ban on wild animal acts.

Maria Eagle, Labour’s shadow environment secretary, said: “The British public will be outraged that, when given the opportunity, a determined group of Tories have repeatedly dug their heels in. The next Labour government will ban wild animals in circuses.”

Fitzpatrick said: “I think a ban on wild animals will come in sooner rather than later, but I have severe reservations about whether we get it in before the election next May.”

News Link:-http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/dec/05/law-to-ban-wild-animals-in-uk-circuses-being-blocked-by-three-tory-mps

Animal Defenders International; Stars Set To Attend Lion Ark Gala Screening

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“I would love see this documentary, but live too far away, I hope it will be shown around England, as I think everyone, not just animal lovers should see it!! Especially those who aren’t aware of the miserable, repetitive & poor conditions, performing animals endure in circuses!!” I am totally ashamed of the English Government, for not fighting & implementing the ban on wild animals in circuses; as they promised. So many other countries have managed to do it, I can’t see any problem, as to  why it has not been in effect sooner; like the British people were promised!!”

December 1, 2014

Bill Oddie: Profile

Special guests including Bill Oddie, Alexei Sayle, Gillian McKeith, Celia Hammond and Bollywood actress Sofia Hayat are set to attend a glitzy gala screening and celebrity fundraiser in Leicester Square on Saturday December 6th for LION ARK, the multi-award winning critically-acclaimed documentary about the rescue of 25 lions from Bolivian circuses.

WHEN: Saturday December 6th, 6pm
WHERE: Prince Charles Cinema, 7 Leicester Place, London, WC2H 7BY
TICKET INFORMATION: Click here

Following sell out screenings at film festivals around the world, LION ARK is now screening in cinemas across the UK.

More action adventure style than traditional documentary, feel-good movie LIONARK charts one of the world’s most ambitious and daring animal rescues, as a team from Britain’s Animal Defenders International (ADI) swoops on eight illegal circuses spread across Bolivia following a ban.

The story begins when ADI secures a ban on animal circuses in Bolivia following a two-year undercover investigation across South America. The shocking findings lead to public outrage and calls for action across the continent. Bolivia is the first to act. Now ADI must help the government enforce the law. The team journey across a vast, hostile terrain to track down the illegal circuses defying the new law, save the animals and bring them to safety, and a joyous finale sees 25 lions airlifted to freedom in the US.

LION ARK Producer and rescue leader Jan Creamer said: “People have been gripped by the way Lion Ark covers a serious issue about saving animals from circuses, but in a uniquely exciting and enjoyable way. The British public can be very proud that the seeds of this historic operation were sown at Animal Defenders International’s headquarters in London, which makes Lion Ark’s West End gala screening a very special event indeed.”

A smash hit on the international film festival circuit, LION ARK is told through live action interviews, in the moment, as events unfold. This is up close and personal, in the thick of the action; you are as close as you can get to these animals and to understanding their life in the circus and feel the fear and joy of the rescuers as they journey through their incredible mission.

LION ARK Director Tim Phillips said: “The response to Lion Ark has been fantastic, receiving standing ovations, armfuls of awards and sell-out shows around the world and we are looking forward to welcoming so many celebrity supporters at the gala screening. This special event is open to the public so that everyone has a chance to enjoy the uplifting animal magic of Lion Ark on the big screen in London’s Leicester Square, and meet the rescue team directly from their latest mission in Peru.”

A similarly ambitious rescue operation – Spirit of Freedom – is now underway in Peru, where ADI is once again assisting authorities to enforce an animal circus ban, having successfully secured legislation. ADI currently has 30 lions, 9 primates and several other animals in its care, and audiences will hear the very latest news from rescue team leaders LION ARK Director Tim Phillips and Producer Jan Creamer, who have come straight from their latest mission to hold Q&A sessions following each screening across the UK.

The LION ARK rescue mission was backed by legendary and Emmy award-winning US TV ‘Price is Right’ game show host Bob Barker and CSI actress Jorja Fox (‘Sara Sidle’), whose company Seafox Productions is an Associate Producer and both appear in the film. Bob Barker’s support enabled the rescue team to empty Bolivia of its suffering circus animals and build new homes for them in the US.

LION ARK has recently been signed into distribution for television, video on demand,DVD / Blu Ray and in-flight entertainment with ITV Studios Global Entertainment, one of the world’s leading distribution companies which has its own channels in Europe, Asia, Africa and Middle East, including flagship ITV broadcasting in 40 countries.

Since opening at Raindance, London and Mill Valley Film Festival, California, LIONARK has taken the film festival circuit by storm with sell out shows, six awards, official selections for 14 prestigious film festivals, and an NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding International Motion Picture.

Tickets for LION ARK screenings at UK cinemas including the West End gala and celebrity fundraiser are on sale now. Tickets for the gala start at just £11: click here for more.

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Like if you agree, wild animals DO NOT belong in circuses!: “Animal circuses”: Cruel entertainment or a dying art?”

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“I understand, there may be some circuses who do put the animals needs first; I’m not saying all circuses are cruel to their animals! But I still don’t think wild animals should be in cages, travelling from town to town; to perform unnatural tricks, to the paying public; no matter how well they are cared for. The circuses may very well maintain their animals are well fed & cared for, that’s all well & good. But no pitched circus can provide its animals with a likeness to the animals own living habitats. It would be impossible for circuses to provide lions or tigers with rocks, caves, trees, brush or access to a lake, for tigers & other animals that love the water. These are the basics, so the animals can exhibit their natural behaviour; especially when they are constantly on the move! The council floor space granted to the circuses probably just about holds all the wagons carrying the animals, along with all the trucks needed to erect the circus tents, caravans & other stalls etc. So there is little room for the animals between performances; to act in a natural way!

Horses & zebra love to run round etc. but In the News Link below, it says that ponies are tethered to the circus tents, camels are tethered in fields, with horses in temporary stables & makeshift paddocks; animals can not express their natural instincts when denied their normal living habitats! Where do the tigers or lions go when not performing; tigers love to swim! Or do they just stay in their beast wagons? I’ve seen enough evidence to convince me that circus animals are not happy animals! They are denied their basic instincts, they are not meant to perform or stay in holding cells in between shows. As such many animals exhibit repetitive stereotypical behaviour; due to their lifestyles, they would never do it in the wild! So I still say wild animals do not belong in any type of exhibit where they are forced to perform…it’s wrong & about time our Government got off their backsides & implemented a BAN like they promised! .”

POST By Jonathan Brown 26/9/2014 http://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/ 

Changing times: With a legal ban on the use of wild animal acts in UK circuses impending, Jonathan Brown goes behind the scenes at one of only two left in the UK to get to the heart of the debate.

Petra Jackson pictured with Zebedee the zebra at Circus Mondao, in Tingley, Leeds. Picture by Simon Hulme

Petra Jackson pictured with Zebedee the zebra at Circus Mondao, in Tingley, Leeds. Picture by Simon Hulme

Behind the big top at Circus Mondao – one of only two licensed animal circuses in the UK – zebras, camels and reindeer are roaming to the disgust of animal rights campaigners.

At its current resting place at Thorpe Lane, Tingley, there are Shetland ponies tethered to the circus tent, camels tethered in the fields, while its seven horses are split between airy temporary stables and makeshift paddocks to keep them separated from the freely wandering elderly zebra ‘Zebedee’.

By any means it’s a strange, if not slightly unnatural, sight to see at fields between Leeds and Wakefield nevertheless the animals seem contented and oblivious to the legal and moral storm that surrounds Circus Mondao’s very existence.

Next month draft legislation to enforce an outright ban on the use of wild animals in circuses, which could eventually come into force by December 2015, will have its crucial second reading amid increasing public protests.

Touring the circus on its eighth visit to rural Tingley in as many years, a vast convoy of 17 trucks, cars and caravans hauled around the country by a 30-strong workforce nine months of the year is gearing up for its next show.

We’re led around the site by veteran ringmistress Petra Jackson as Romanian gymnasts warm up in the big top and the animals are given time to relax outside. She is immediately on the defensive. “Have a look at where our animals live – you can’t believe everything you read on the internet,” she said. “It’s very hard to get our voice across. They are not kept in a shoebox under the bed, they’re grazing freely with fresh food and fresh water.”

It’s not surprising that she is on her guard. Life on the road with a modern day animal circus consists of a relentless stream of protests and media criticism outside of daily performances and weekly travel.

But having entered circus life aged 16 to train and care for dogs and ponies, Ms Jackson is used to the pressure. She has spent 22 years in the industry and joined Circus Mondao nine years ago.

Forthright in her view that all her animals live fulfilling lives, she is adamant that traditional circus is by no means the “Victorian relic” campaigners suggest.

“The people who come and see the show don’t say it’s outdated – it’s not what the general public are saying,” she said.

“The Great British public want to be able to make their own decision about what they want to see. If they didn’t want to see animals perform in the circus they wouldn’t come to see us and we would be out of business.” “The public did make their own decision about animals in circuses, according to a report by Born Free Foundation and RSPCA (2006).   “See Link To PDF – Its time Parliament changed it’s act;Below”

 98.9% of readers of the Sunday Mirror newspaper who expressed a view thought that the UK’s only remaining circus elephant (see section 6.1 – UK Circus elephant) should retire (2005). 

The Environment Food and Rural Affairs Committee The Environment,Food and Rural Affairs Committee (EFRA) is a cross-party committee appointed by the House of Commons to examine the expenditure,administration,and policy of the Department for Environment,Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and its associated bodies. In its examination of the Animal Welfare Bill,the Committee has recommended that: In addition,to date (11/01/06),92 Members of Parliament have signed Early Day Motion No.468 recognising that the circus environment cannot provide for the needs of wild animals. The use of wild animals in circuses be prohibited The use of all other performing animals in circuses,television,theatre,films,advertising etc.be licensed “See Link To PDF – Its time Parliament changed it’s act;Below”

In spite of her defiance, the evidence suggests the days of UK animal circus acts are numbered – even aside from the looming change in the law.

From 1998/9 the number of circuses practicing with wild animals in the UK fell from 20 to four in just five years, with dwindling audiences and high-profile animal cruelty cases contributing to the fact that only two such circuses exist today.

Circus Mondao, with its collection of over 30 mainly grazing stock, and Peter Jolly’s Circus, which features five lions and tigers, have rarely been out of the headlines as a result.

And having worked with big cats herself, Ms Jackson is hardly damning of their use. “The natural environment out there isn’t what it used to be with deforestation and there is so much more poaching and hunting going on,” she said. “People don’t realise they (big cats) relax a lot in the daytime and what they do in the circus is no different to what they do in the wild – they jump and leap from one rock to another, it’s just a trained movement.

She argues that most circus animals are “captive bred” and are used to a circus routine which causes them no harm, meaning animals such as Mondao’s zebra and one of its mules have easily outlasted their predicted life expectancies.

“The tide of opinion is against us. There’s no scientific evidence against us. We’ve been inspected by the Government, they have licensed us and all the inspections that have happened previously didn’t find anything wrong with the animals in the circus, it’s just that the animal rights people don’t think it’s right to have them in captivity.”

5.3 Abnormal behaviour
It is known that wild animals in captivity often display abnormal behaviour,with a particular problem being repetitive, seemingly functionless actions referred to as stereotypic behaviour. Stereotypic behaviour may be the result of frustrated needs,or be a coping mechanism developed in a current or previous inadequate or stressful environment,and the presence of stereotypic behaviour is generally acknowledged to be an indicator of current or previous poor welfare. Evidence exists for stereotypic behaviour being significant in circus animals (e.g.Friend & Parker 1999,Gruber 2000,Krawczel et al.2005, Schmid 1995),and this is supported by anecdotal evidence and video footage. Indeed,legislation in New Zealand attempts to tackle the problem,stating that animals displaying continuous signs of distress must not be held or used in circuses. Presence of stereotypic behaviour in some species may serve as partial evidence that circuses are unable to meet the needs of wild animals.  “See Link To PDF – Its time Parliament changed it’s act;Below”

Nationwide around 200 local authorities, including Leeds City Council, have pre-empted a wider ban by refusing to warrant animal circuses using council-owned land.

The arrival of Circus Mondao and Peter Jolly’s Circus in West Yorkshire last year attracted the attention of protestors in Otley and Queensbury, Bradford, last year, and Circus Mondao’s visits to Thornton, Calverley and Tingley so far have attracted similar responses from the likes of Leeds Animal Protection and Bradford and Calderdale Animal Friends.

Meanwhile Animal Defenders International has called on residents to avoid the circus as wild animal acts are an “outdated practice which is overwhelmingly opposed by the public”.

Jan Creamer, president of ADI, said: “Most people are now aware of the terrible suffering of wild animals in circuses and shun such acts. A national ban has been promised but, until it is brought in, these animals are forced to perform silly tricks and endure conditions which deny them their natural behaviours. We urge local people not to support circus suffering.”

Recent high profile cases of mistreatment have scarred the perception of animal circuses for many. Circus owner Bobby Roberts was given a three-year conditional discharge in 2012 for mistreating the UK’s last circus elephant. The conviction came after a groom was secretly filmed striking the 58-year-old elephant, called Anne, with a pitchfork in early 2011.

Nevertheless animal cruelty and circuses are not necessarily intertwined. Both remaining UK animal circuses are regularly vetted and have been licensed by DEFRA.

In fact after publishing the Wild Animals in Circuses Report which looks set to bring about the ban on wild animal acts, committee chair Anne McIntosh MP said “there is no overwhelming welfare case for a ban on wild animals in travelling circuses”, stating there are already laws in place to deal with welfare abuse.

But whether wild animal acts are at all necessary or viable remains debatable. Either way, the impending ban looks set to spell the end of a 150-year-old industry.

Ms Jackson added: “We don’t know what’s going to happen, that’s very true. We don’t think like to think about it.”

HISTORY OF ANIMAL CIRCUSES IS CHEQUERED

  • The use of animals in the circus dates back around a century and a half.
  • Prior to travelling circuses and the advent of public zoos, those wanting to lay their eyes on exotic wild animals would head to fairs.
  • Before animals were exhibited, travelling shows were likely to be exhibiting people with physical abnormalities, regarded at the time as ‘freaks of nature’.
  • From the 19th Century animals were taken on tour as displays of exotic creatures before they were combined with traditional circus shows – the first true animal acts involved horses.
  • US circus performer Isaac Van Amburgh is recognised as the first wild animal trainer in circus history, having entered a cage with several big cats as early as 1833.
  • Equestrian circus became a world phenomenon during the 1800s, with travelling circuses pitching up American-style big top tents from the mid 1830s.
  • In Europe, the travelling circus and menagerie reached its peak between the two world wars.
  • But while exotic animals once drew large crowds, the animal rights movements of the 1960s onwards pressured circuses to re-think their links with animals.
  • Shows began to present circus in a more artistic light, while many circuses began to end or amend their association with animal acts.
  • Although not a travelling circus, German-American duo Siegfried & Roy who performed with white lions and tigers in Las Vegas ended their 13-year stage careers after Roy was attacked and nearly killed by a seven-year-old male tiger named Montecore in 2003.
  • Such high profile accidents were added to by cases of ill treatment among some of the more unscrupulous circuses and began to shape perceptions.

News Link:-http://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/latest-news/top-stories/animal-circuses-cruel-entertainment-or-a-dying-art-1-6862167

 Public Opinion.
Recent decades have seen increasing public exposure to media such as television documentaries and to foreign travel, allowing people the opportunity to observe either directly or indirectly animals in the wild, their natural behaviour and habitats. In addition, examples of animal cruelty such as those uncovered during the investigation and successful prosecution of individuals from the Chipperfield family in 1997-1999 have aroused considerable public concern. It is of little surprise therefore that there has been a concurrent decline in the popularity of circuses featuring performing wild animals, which in turn may have led to circuses disposing of their wild animal acts. There have been several polls that serve to indicate this change in public opinion:“See Link To PDF – Its time Parliament changed it’s act;Below”

NOW:-Take action!

Ask the government to keep their promise to end the use of all wild animals in circuses by 2015!

If your local authority has allowed animal circuses on council-owned land, you can write a letter expressing your concernto your local councillor.
[1]  Harris S, Iossa G & Soulsbury CD (2006) A review of the welfare of wild animals in circuses (PDF 404KB). Report submitted to the Circus Working Group, 4 December.

Relevant documents

News Link:-http://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/wildlife/captivity/circuses

Wild animals in captivity

In 2012, the Westminster Government announced it would finally grant wild animals in circuses their long overdue ban. Two and a half years later and it appears that the government has turned its back on wild animals in the circus.

Our last chance before the election lies with Jim Fitzpatrick MP who has tabled a banning bill to pick up where the government has left off. The banning bill will have it’ssecond reading on 17 October. This is a very important date as it could be our very last chance to see this much discussed ban become a reality.

 News Link By RSPCA: http://www.rspca.org.uk/getinvolved/campaign/bigstop/-/articleName/CAM_The_Big_Stop_v2

Breeding animals for a few generations doesn’t wipe out thousands of years of evolution; essentially a tiger born in a circus has the same needs as a tiger born in the wild.

We’re not saying that the wild is an idyllic place free from problems – it’s not! But animals have evolved over thousands of years, adapting to live in certain types of natural environments.

Placing an animal in surroundings that are unsuitable for the species can cause stress and behavioural problems. Animals kept in an improper environment or fed the wrong diet can suffer, resulting in illness or death. In some environments, we believe it’s best not to keep certain wild animals at all, as their needs cannot be met – particularly if the animal is there for entertainment. Examples are;

If you cannot meet the needs of an animal then you should not keep that animal.

 News Link By RSPCA:-http://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/wildlife/captivity/-/articleName/WLD_InCaptivity

Wild animals don’t belong in circuses…

Take ActionThe complex needs of wild animals can never be adequately met in a circus environment and regular transport, cramped and bare temporary housing, forced training and performance are all unavoidable realities for the animals.

We have no confidence in the licensing scheme introduced by the government as an interim measure while the ban was being passed. Put simply, it does virtually nothing to protect the welfare of wild animals in circuses.
So what are we waiting for? In March 2012 the Westminster Government announced it would ban wild animals in circuses and the Welsh Government later announced they were keen for Wales to be included in the legislation. However, the animals are still waiting.

Take action, email your MP now and urge them throw their support behind this ‘last chance’ bIll…

News Link RSPCA:-http://www.rspca.org.uk/getinvolved/campaign/bigstop/-/articleName/CAM_The_Big_Stop_v2

IDA: Invitation To Join Protest, Portland Area Residents – Please Take Action for Animals; Circus Protest

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Portland Area Residents – Please Take Action for Animals
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus Protests
September 4th-7th 

Activists from IDA and other national and local organizations will join forces to protest Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in Portland in early September. Help us send a loud and clear message that elephants and other animals do not belong in circuses!

Please make plans to join activists at one or more protests held throughout the weekend.

What:  Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus Protests at the Moda Center

When:
Thursday, Sep 4, 5:30pm-7:00pm
Friday, Sep 5, 5:30pm-7:00pm
Saturday, Sep 6, 10am-11:30am, 2pm-3:30pm, 5:30pm-7:00pm
Sunday, Sep 7, 11am-12:30pm, 3pm-4:30pm

Where:  Moda Center, One Center Court, Portland, Oregon (meet at the Moda Center entrance nearest the Rose Quarter Transit Center)

For more information, please contact eric@idausa.org.

You can RSVP for these events here. Posters and leaflets will be provided at each event.

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England’s Prime Minister Says He Will Ban Wild Animals from Circuses

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BY JOAN REDDY  

England’s Prime Minister David Cameron has announced that he will work quickly to bring forward the Government’s draft bill that will ban wild animals from circuses. The bill was originally published last March, but little progress has been made since then.

 

The British animal rights organization, Animal Defender’s International (ADI),  is concerned that if the ban is not immediately enforced, the implementation date of December 2015 may be missed. Social justice campaigner Peter Tatchell, and former Conservative MEP, author, and conservationist Stanley Johnson approached Prime Minister Cameron with this concern, and asked him to swiftly move on the bill. He responded to their request by saying “[y]es, we are going to do it.”

“It is great that David Cameron told Stanley and me today that he will ban wild animals in circuses. Let’s hold him to it. Circuses deny animals their freedom and suppress their natural, wild nature through confinement, tethering and subjugation. It is wrong for circuses to subject wild animals to such physical and mental suffering. That’s why I am supporting Animal Defenders International’s campaign calling on the Government to urgently legislate a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses,” said Thatchell.

“I am very much hoping that this legislation to ban wild animals in circuses will appear in the Queen’s speech and no further delay will be experienced. Circuses that persist in using wild animals undermine conservation efforts by demeaning animals and presenting them as playthings. These animals belong in their natural wild habitat, not the circus,” said Johnson. “I applaud Animal Defenders International on its work to stop circus suffering and urge the Government to join the growing number of countries that have banned wild animal acts,” he added.

The elephant-shaped letter requesting Prime Minister Cameron to quickly move the bill forward, has been signed by celebrities that include Eddie IzzardJulian Clary,MobyMichaela Strachan, and Brian Blessed. Also, among the signatories, isEton, whom is a famous alumni of Prime Minister Cameron’s old school, as well as actor Dominic West and sustainable investment leader Ben Goldsmith.

“We are delighted that David Cameron has promised the ADI deputation that he will bring forward the ban on wild animals. So many celebrities and politicians have joined ADI to call on the Government to implement its promised ban on wild animals in circuses. After a 20 year wait the public wants to see this done and if the Government fails to deliver on this promise, it will be directly responsible for continued animal suffering,” said ADI Chief Executive, Jan Creamer.

At the moment, more than two hundred local authorities in the UK, and twenty-five countries worldwide have restricted using animals in circuses. A 2010 Defra consultation showed that 94 percent of Britain’s population opposed the use of animals in circuses, and in 2011 sixty-three MPs also agreed that the Government should ban wild animal circus acts.

Hopefully, Britain will soon be the twenty-seventh country to rescue wild circus animals from a life of captivity, abuse and exploitation.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

News Link:-http://www.ecorazzi.com/2014/04/10/englands-prime-minister-says-he-will-ban-wild-animals-from-circuses/

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